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JRA turns down two proposals for downtown hotel

JACKSON — The Jackson Redevelopment Authority has decided to pass on two proposals to build a hotel across from the Jackson Convention Complex and instead will seek new proposals for a new downtown hotel.

The Clarion-Ledger reports the board passed on two proposals last Friday.

Brian Fenelon, the JRA board member who introduced the motion to not accept either proposal, said the board wanted to do it “the right way.”

The city and the companies that presented hotel plans had hoped to use Gulf Opportunity zone bonds to fund the project, but the deadline to use them ends Dec. 31.

JRA Chairman Ronnie Crudup Sr. said the loss of GO Zone funds was the toughest part of Friday’s vote.

Transcontinental Realty Investors of Dallas, Texas, proposed a 309-room hotel with surface parking, along with an unspecified amount of retail space around the facility. TCI owns the land to be used for the planned development. Al Crozier, TCI executive vice president, declined to say whether his company plans to re-apply to develop the hotel.

Journeyman Austin Holdings of Austin, Texas, proposed a 300-room hotel with a parking garage and neighboring retail. Bob Gallup, a vice president with Journeyman, said his company intends to offer a new proposal.

JRA’s decision not to select a developer also means the city will have to examine whether to finance construction through a bond issue, how much the city should contribute toward debt service and other details, Jackson city spokesman Chris Mims said. He said it would become more difficult to find developers willing to build a hotel after the JRA vote, he said.

“We lost a real opportunity,” he said.

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